A new toy, collectibles and antiques shop named St. Nix offers Longmont’s community members opportunities to indulge in or reminisce on their favorite childhood items.
For Longmont native Auguste Canode, St. Nix acts as a reliable source for buying vintage video games, which Canode has been collecting since he purchased his first Game Boy in 1995.
Canode, who has relied on the Internet and consignment stores to build his vintage video game collection, met Nicholas Marquisess — partner to St. Nix’s owner Virginia Miskel — soon after the store opened its doors in October.
Canode and Marquisess engaged in a conversation about vintage video games while Canode, a Ziggi’s Coffee employee, made Marquisess’ morning coffee one day. Canode was elated to learn that Marquisess was planning on adding a vintage video game section to his vintage collectibles store.
“I’m looking forward to going to St. Nix instead of the Internet, where sometimes people will price stuff too high for what it’s worth,” Canode said. “(Marquisess) seemed like a reasonable guy and really nice, so I know that he won’t highball me.”
An avid toy lover, Marquisess began perusing the Internet and estate sales for items he could add to his personal Superman-related memorabilia collection about ten years ago.
At the same time, Marquisess was fostering relationships in the toy industry and developing an eye for things that had value and that could be sold for a profit, he said.
“Most toys and collectibles appreciate and grow in value over time — they lose value when they first come out, then the value goes up when they get retired and companies stop making them,” Marquisess explained.
When Marquisess moved to Longmont in 2018 and shortly thereafter met his partner, Miskel, the couple decided to pursue Marquisess’s dream of opening a store dedicated to selling toys, collectibles and antiques.
By September 2021, the pair had keys in their hands to the 150-year-old building at 337 Main Street, which had been the home of Warren Appliance for nearly 40 years prior.
When St. Nix opened to the public, six shelves were home to approximately 560 toys, antiques and collectibles. Today, the number of products in the store has grown to around 4,000.
Apart from new toys on the market and antiques that date back to the 1800s, St. Nix offers an array of products from the 80s and 90s that’ll spark people’s remembrance of their childhood, which they can then share with their own children, Marquisess said.
Despite the couple’s slight fear of opening the business during the pandemic, as it turns out, “COVID helped the toy industry,” Marquisess said.
“Everyone started getting back into old TV shows, cartoons, movies and their old toys during the pandemic,” Marquisess recalled. “They started wanting to go after that stuff again.”
According to Marquisess, people’s nostalgia for their childhood Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers was kicked into full gear during the pandemic — which is still a common emotion felt by some older individuals, he said.
Recently, one woman who visited St. Nix was brought to tears by seeing dolls inspired by the 1939 film Gone With the Wind, which her mother had owned while she was growing up, Marquisess and Miskel shared. The woman left St. Nix, but only after purchasing the entire collection of dolls.
Regardless of whether individuals buy anything on their trip to St. Nix, “I always say, ‘I’d rather have people come in here, smile, be happy, have a good time and not buy anything than not come in at all,” Marquisess said.
“Toys just make people happy, and that’s what we love about this business,” Marquisess added.